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Govt Efforts to Improve Trade Markets Supported

by 5m Editor
2 September 2011, at 10:48am

CANADA - The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) would like to express its appreciation for the federal government's proactive efforts to develop and improve current trade markets for Canadian pork during its recent mission to Latin America.

The Canadian pork sector would encourage the Canadian government to place the same level of enthusiasms and efforts to finalise the Free Trade discussions with South Korea.

"The continuous efforts to open new and existing markets by the federal government will increase market opportunities for Canadian pork exports. It is hoped that continued involvement in export development activities will translate into Free Trade Agreements with other countries, similar to the one recently finalized with Colombia," stated CPC’s Chair, Jurgen Preugschas. "Canada’s pork export to Colombia have already begun to grow in 2011, being 50 per cent above last year," added Mr Preugschas, noting new trade channels being opening even before the actual improvement in terms of trade take effect.

For many years, one of the Canadian pork industry’s objectives has been to develop markets abroad and break away from commercial dependency on the US market. Nowadays, with current trade fluctuations, it is risky to rely on just a handful of export markets, especially when nearly 50 per cent of Canadian pork production is destined for export markets.

The Canadian pork industry remains concerned that postponing the South Korea FTA talks any further is seriously affecting the competitiveness of the pork industry. The lack of progress on a FTA with Korea is having a noticeable decrease in our current market share since all of our key competitors have previously reached or have negotiated FTAs with Korea.

"Canada’s pork exports to Korea for the first six month of 2011 have increased due to that country’s ongoing efforts to contain the recent food-and-mouth outbreak. However, other countries exporting pork to Korea - with FTAs now in effect or completed and awaiting implementation - have seen exports to Korea grow even more. It is therefore a huge market to gain and a huge one to lose. It is fair to assume that Canada’s current pork trade with Korea would completely disappear without any progress on the FTA," added Mr Preugschas.

The longer Canada lags behind the US and the EU in the implementation of a free trade agreement, the larger is the negative impact on Canadian exports, as the tariff faced by the others is reduced while those facing Canada remains the same. Failure to reach an FTA with Korea will cause substantial prejudice to the Canadian pork industry.